The Zimbabwean government has addressed the circumstances surrounding the deportation of David Hundeyin, a Nigerian investigative journalist.
On July 20, the government’s permanent secretary in the information, publicity, and broadcasting service, Nick Mangwana, clarified that Hundeyin was did not have the requisite travel documents to enter Zimbabwe.
He presented Ghanaian refugee papers for entry, which required a visa to enter Zimbabwe. Though the government initially had no intention of making his detention public, they felt compelled to provide clarity after Hundeyin disclosed some details himself, Mangwana said.
“Since he has chosen to put all his issues out without making full disclosure, it forces us to give details we would have preferred not. But we realize this may affect how Zimbabweans are treated when they visit Nigeria, so we are going to give the information here,” Mangwana tweeted.
“David came with Ghanaian Refuge papers claiming he was a Nigerian who was a refugee from his home country. His country of Asylum is Ghana after claiming to be running away from persecution in Nigeria. People in this category certainly need Visas to enter Zimbabwe.
“He wasn’t coming in to work as a journalist. He said he was just coming to visit but without getting a Visa in Ghana first. Other parts of his story were also unsatisfactory to the immigration authorities. He was considered not a candidate for entry into Zimbabwe.”
Hundeyin retorted that “I wasn’t aware that it is standard operating procedure in Zimbabwe for the country’s minister of information to tweet the asylum status of a foreigner, but since you’ve resorted to telling half truths, perhaps you should mention to your audience that I came into Zimbabwe with this valid Ghanaian refugee passport, which I have used to travel extensively over the world for 2 years.”
“I’m sure you saw the valid UK Visa inside it. I’m also sure that you saw the numerous entry and exit stamps inside it belonging to multiple jurisdictions inside and outside Africa. Only in Zimbabwe have I EVER had an issue travelling with this document,” he added.
“You might also want to share with your audience that I put a call through to the Zimbabwean embassy in Accra before I travelled to confirm that I did not need a visa, and that J was expressly advised that as long as the airline was happy to recognise the travel document, I would have no problem coming into Zimbabwe visa-free.”
He further threatened: “Whatever you thought you achieved by doing this, I assure you that you should have completed the job yesterday because you will not like what happens next.”